Kenyan citizens protesting against a proposed finance bill that includes increased fuel and housing taxes were met with tear gas by the police on Tuesday.
Approximately 500 demonstrators marched to Parliament to present a petition opposing the legislation but were dispersed by tear gas fired by the police, as Voice of America VOA reported. In addition, eleven protesters were reportedly detained.
President William Ruto came into power promising to address the country’s growing debt, which had risen from $13.7 billion in 2020 to $17.9 billion in 2022.
As a result of financial challenges, the government had previously delayed salaries for public servants.
However, critics, including government officials and political opponents, argue that the cost of living is already too high and disagree with the proposed bill.
Since March, the opposition party Azimio Umoja (Declaration of Unity) has been leading protests against the government, focusing on the high cost of living and allegations of election fraud. Last week, labour unions, including one representing healthcare workers, also protested against the bill.